ASB Cameron Road has exciting corporate offices using industrial colours, steel, containers and rubber to anchor it to its location in Tauranga. A scientific approach was taken to calculate the types and number of work settings required. This calculation was tuned to the types of work undertaken by staff as well as being able to accommodate fluctuating staff numbers.
The client engaged the Dutch workplace strategy firm Veldhoen and Co to undertake detailed and lengthy observations of space use and surveys of staff at the previous premises. This raw data formed the basis of calculations that arrived at the strategy for Cameron Road. The strategy requires all work settings to be completely shared and varied in an Activities Based Working (ABW) environment.
Along with the science, the space has been given an industrial and port theme using steel, containers, rubber and industrial hues. A large industrial steel stair designed around the portside trusses and ship gantries links the two floors together via a top lit atrium space.
Traditional office partitions have been rejected. Transparent screens, high backed lounges, differing surface materials, specific lighting levels and acoustic treatments define spaces. Industrial typeface graphics have been created for the walls and glazing to reinforce the theming and originality across the differing internal surfaces. The inspiration for the formal language used in the project was the industrial Port of Tauranga.
At ground level using Resene Wan White (umber white) on the walls and Resene Alabaster (blackened white) on ceilings lightens up the floor plate and surrounds with the steel stair highlighted delicately with Resene Armourcote in Resene Double Kandinsky (apple mint green) taking you up through the atrium to the start of the colour story playing out above. On the upper level the palette of colours found in the stacked containers in the Port is only the kick start for the selection. From there the earthy burnt orange Resene Flashback (fire orange), the sea like blue Resene Calypso (mellow blue) and the misty white cloud Resene Iron (cool grey) become the main players.
The combination is easy: the cloudy Resene Iron takes over the biggest ‘containers’ and Resene Flashback and Resene Calypso decorate the smaller ones. All the surrounds are then reduced to the neutral tones of Resene Wan White and Resene Alabaster for walls, ceilings and doors with a touch of Resene Quarter Akaroa (shingle taupe grey).
Everything is a fine balance, giving the spectator enough for them to start imagining it without it becoming a stage set. In the Port it is relatively easy to pile up real containers one on top of each other. It is not so easy to redefine volumes inside of a building to create the ‘feel’ of a pile of containers.
In this project big plasterboard bulkheads are proportioned and composed and then a painted light skin, made of aluminium extrusions and polycarbonate cladding, dresses them as containers. The complex and extensive steel structure that supports them is hidden away behind impossible cantilevering container shapes. The large sloping ceiling plane is totally independent of the roof structure, supported by a hidden 18 metre long steel truss. The single piece, 8.5 metres long and a few thousand kilograms staircase, made off site, was rolled in through the front door and lifted into position with jacks. These elements pay homage to the kind of activities that are closer to the Port than to an interior building fit-out.
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